Two Ways to Attract and Keep Good Developers

COVID has changed the way we work forever. What constitutes a good place to work in the 2020's?

Martin Cerruti
3 min readJan 31, 2022


Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

As The Great Resignation continues, many companies are confronted with the fact that COVID has changed the way we look at work forever.

Over the past few years, employers have gradually been losing ground to their employees. This means that the dynamics of an employer-employee relationship are shifting. This is especially true in the barren lands of software engineering, where qualified engineers are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

I’ve been researching this topic among developers and teams that I’ve worked with in the past two years. Their reasons are diverse. However, there are two subjects that came up in almost every interview I’ve had: they want to feel challenged, and feel ownership of their work.

Perhaps their insights can help us create more interesting workplaces for the twenty-first century.

Provide Challenging Projects

Regardless of developer seniority, developers almost universally want to work on challenging projects. This challenge can be derived from the engineering of a solution together with business stakeholders, figuring out how to migrate legacy software, writing a complex piece of code, and the list goes on. Key point is: whatever it is, it’s a challenge.

The opposite of a challenge is a chore. A task that no one really wants to carry out, but has to be done in order to ensure continuity. Every developer understands this work needs to be done, and usually won’t make a fuss if it’s them that need to do it.

Essential is fostering a healthy balance between challenging work and chores. While developers who are required to work on tackling the most complex problems for an organisation for elongated periods of time, and perhaps without making the progress they’d like to see may get burned out on their work, developers who are only carrying out chores and cleaning up other people’s mess are likely to leave the company.

The challenge has to be felt by all developers, collectively. Not by a handful of people who are intrinsically unable to solve all



Martin Cerruti

Software Architect, Technology Writer, but most of all a programmer.